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Roaring Twenties: Racism in the 20s

Did You Know. . .

  • The Red Summer refers to the summer of 1919 when there were race riots in cities where whites attacked blacks. There was deep resentment among the whites that the blacks had taken jobs in the northeast during WWI, jobs that belonged to whites who were fighting abroad.
  • The Red Scare occurred directly after WWI (1920) when immigrants emigrated to the United States. The influx of new people made many Americans nervous that the immigrants would bring with them ideas of Communism and influence the US government.
  • Because of the Red Scare, the Ku Klux Klan (inactive for decades) re-emerged to block immigrants from entering the United States.The KKK wanted to prevent immigrants from spreading their ideas.
  • Americans believed the Ku Klux Klan was correct and urged Congress to limit immigrants through a string of anti-immigration laws passed in the '20s.

Anti-immigration Laws

The US government passed restrictive immigration laws in 1921, 1924, 1929.

Red Scare

Bartolomeo Vanzetti (left) (1891-1927) and Ferdinando Nicola Sacco (right) (1888-1927), during their trial for murder in 1921. Vanzetti and Sacco were Italian immigrants who were accused of murdering two men during a 1920 armed robbery in Massachusetts. The trial was controversial, but they were convicted and executed on August 23, 1927.
Vanzetti And Sacco. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 1 Jan 2012.

Red Summer

Ku Klux Klan Parade

Demonstration of the Ku-Klux-Klan in Washington D.C. c. 1920s.
Ku-Klux-Klan Demonstration / Washington. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 7 Dec 2011

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